Learning isn’t always about traditional education, it happens in life too. I can categorically say that learning about myself has been just some of the best learning ever, it’s taught me things I never would have known.
We first captured Hayley’s learning journey during Adult Learners’ Week 2017. She was embarking on her Masters and told us “I’m the first immediate family to study at this level and I want my children to realise that they can do anything they want.”
We’re thrilled to be able to catch up with Hayley to see how she got on and if she stayed on the Masters path! But first Hayley reflects on the role learning has played in her life over the years;
“I think I’ve always loved learning but not in the traditional educational sense. As a child I was always curious. I loved using my imagination and being creative, but back then that was called ‘exploring’ and ‘discovery’, and not learning as such. So I ended up stigmatizing myself and came to believe that I wasn’t academic. I believed I wasn’t brainy and couldn’t go to University. I accepted my level of academic expectation was pretty low.
In 2010 I decided to do the PGCE as I was training in my job and wanted the qualification to back it up. At Level 5 I believed it to be way above my ability. I ploughed through and got a merit, I was really proud of myself. At the same time I wrote a book (pretty sure my old English teacher would laugh if you told her!), I ended up studying 4 other courses alongside a full time job and 4 children. It was great, but I was exhausted from learning.
When the opportunity to do a Masters came around I wanted to test myself, I wanted to see if I could actually achieve a Masters. It was a hard slog at times, I am definitely not a natural academic but in February 2020 I received the letter confirming I had achieved my MA in Professional Practice. No graduation this year due to Covid-19, but I have a qualification I had convinced myself wasn’t possible for me.”